Novak (novak) wrote,

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Theology Notebook

'Nother late night reading, including a six-hour uninterrupted binge at the library, and I still can't read Von Balthasar fast enough! The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church remains a challenge, though, as I mentioned a few days ago. I'm starting to feel that there's a bad exegetical component to it, though; that he's so reading the scriptures in a particular way to trace our understanding of papal primacy to Peter that he's really allegorizing it, while at the same time attempting to get the "evidentiary" weight of an historical argument from it. Some it seems shaky and contrived to me, and wouldn't be plausible, I fear, to anyone who wasn't already convinced, although that might not carry any weight for him.

While over the years I've come to the same conclusion that Von Balthasar has--that there is an overwhelming need for the primacy in the Church and that it is in fact given to the Church by God--I'd think it safer, if even less "conclusive" an argument, to simply argue on the basis of the development of doctrine and the leading of the Spirit. An historical argument, I think, would be stronger if made on Jesus' commands for our unity and by examining what seems to be to be the overall failure of the Protestant principle in Protestantism's ongoing fracturing.

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